Sunday, October 18, 2009

Photos of the castle so far

I meant to  take photos of each step of the castle's construction.  Well, I've missed a few, but we need to start somewhere, don't we?

This is how the first part, the Great Hall, looks now, stripped of the temporary furnishings the children and I were playing with.  To recap, this room, as pictured above, is about 30" wide, 12" deep and 18" tall.  Here's what we've done so far:

1.  We painted the beams dark brown -- a mixture of two parts burnt umber with one part raw sienna, mixed up well with a fair bit of water to make a stain (I use artist's acrylic paints).

2.  We added texture to the walls with Polyfilla scraped on and, partly, off, in an uneven way.   The walls and ceiling were painted white.

3.  We made the stone floor with a thicker layer of polyfilla.  While still pliable, I made the grout lines with a blunt pencil.  Note to self for future:  don't try to do this after dark, your lines won't be quite perpendicular :)  After it had dried I sanded some places to even things out a bit.

4. We painted floor and walls.  The key to realistic faux finishing is to do everything in layers and to use both warm and cool versions of your colours.  I started with a base wash of natural titanium (this is a very warm off white).  Then I built up the colour of individual stones using a variety of washes:  yellow ochre, a neutral grey (white and black), raw sienna, burnt umber, and white.  Finally, I put on two washes of raw umber over the whole floor to tone the entire thing down and get a darker colour in the grout lines.  Then I varnished it with a matte varnish.

The walls just got a loose wash of grey then a wash of burnt umber, I think.  Very watery and relaxed -- not trying to cover everything.  Just enough to make the place look used.

I did the first coats on the floor, and then let the children loose on both floor and walls.  They did a fabulous job and enjoyed watching the room come to life!

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